Christchurch Journals

Christchurch: The Gateway to the South Island

Best of IgoUgo

A January 2008 trip to Christchurch by stomps

Coachman Backpackers Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand More Photos
Quote: My arrival in Christchurch marked the beginning of my ten weeks of adventure in NZ. I managed to squeeze a lot into a day there!

Christchurch: The Gateway to the South Island

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Victoria Square Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
Like nearly all travelers intending to explore New Zealand's South Island, my adventures began at the Christchurch Airport. I got off the plane exhausted after 30 hours in transit, including a 5-hour layover in Auckland and a very entertaining flight next to an ingénue of an 8-year-old who spent the entire 1 1/2 hours to Christchurch solving the world's problems. For instance, no airplanes would ever catch on fire if their engines were filled with water. Who knew?Christchurch definitely wasn't something I circled on my itinerary as being a highlight. It mainly served as a jumping-off point, a city where I could get myself ready and supplied for the wild yonder that lay ahead. For this reas...Read More

Coachman Backpackers

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Coachman Backpackers Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
I had two criteria for choosing a backpackers in Christchurch: it had to be as close to Cathedral Square as possible (for proximity to transport leaving the city), and it was under no circumstances to be Base Backpackers, the most infamous hostel in Christchurch. I considered the Rolleston House YHA, which I reviewed after my visit three years ago, but then I stumbled upon the sleek Coachman's website. Now of course, there's absolutely no relation between the quality of a hostel's website and the qualit...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 24, 2008

Coachman Backpackers
144 Gloucester St.
Christchurch

Mum's 24 Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Mum's 24 Cafe"

Quote:
After I dumped all of my gear in my room, my next order of business upon arriving in Christchurch was finding food that had never had anything to do with an airplane. So, I walked out of Coachmans Backpackers and turned left down Gloucester St (in the general direction of Cathedral Square). There were plenty of restaurants in both directions on Gloucester St; I could have chosen from Indian, Japanese, or even Mexican had I walked to the right. The restaurants on the side of the hostel closer to Cathedral Square seemed to all be Japanese--I must have walked past at least 3 or 4 before finally giving up looking for something else.Mum's 24 Café was on the corner of Colombo and Gloucester Sts--o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 24, 2008

Mum's 24 Restaurant
62 Manchester Street
Christchurch, New Zealand 8011
(03) 365 2211

Yellow Rocket Bagels

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Yellow Rocket Bagels Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
Yellow Rocket Bagels, like Coachman's Backpackers, is very conveniently located; this is perhaps the only reason I chose to patronize both establishments. Since I had absolutely no food on me due to New Zealand quarantine regulations and the fact that Christchurch's supermarkets were quite a long walk away, I was starving when I wandered through Cathedral Square on my way to the Botanic Gardens, and Yellow Rocket just happened to be near the western Worcester St exit.The cafe itself is pretty much the same as any other small breakfast-oriented shop; there was a bit of seating inside around the counter and plenty more seating outside underneath um...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 24, 2008

Yellow Rocket Bagels
33 Cathedral Square
Christchurch, New Zealand
(03) 365 6061

Victoria Square

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Victoria Square Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
Even though Christchurch is but a toddler when compared to any European city--for instance, Christchurch, Dorset, UK--it is still a city steeped in history. Cathedral Square, with its Gothic cathedral--is the most obvious historical location in the city, but there are many other sites of consequence throughout the city. One of these places is Victoria Square, which is just a short skip down Colombo Street from Cathedral Square.Signs abound around the square that tell the eager visitor about the town's history in general. These signs closely echo the history found on the Library of Christchurch's website and...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 24, 2008

Victoria Square

Christchurch, New Zealand
+64 (0)3 379 9629 (C

Botanic Gardens

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Botanic Gardens Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
After my grandparents' garden in England, Christchurch's Botanic Gardens have to be my favorite in the world. Nowhere else have I ever seen such a wonderland of colour, and even my vivid memories paled in comparison to the gardens I found on the cool, cloudy morning that I spent in Christchurch. The fact that the day was on the ugly side only served to highlight how lucky I was to be in the midst of such manicured beauty (although it did mean that my photos weren't quite as nice as they could have been!).I thought that my friends and I had combed the gardens pretty well on our...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 24, 2008

Botanic Gardens
Rolleston Avenue
Christchurch, New Zealand 8001
+64 (0)3 366 1701

Cathedral Square

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Cathedral Square Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
Of everything in the city of Christchurch, Cathedral Square is one of the two absolute must-sees on every tourist's list (the other is the Botanic Gardens, reviewed in another entry). It is fitting that the Cathedral and its pedestrians-only square are the heart of the city, since Christchurch struck me as the most British city in New Zealand.Despite its old, gothic looks, Christ Church (the Cathedral's official name) itself was actually only completed in the 1800s. However, for a country whose Western history is itself rather short, the Cathedral is positively ancient! I have yet to ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 26, 2008

Cathedral Square
Colombo Street
Christchurch, New Zealand 8001
+64 (0)3 379 9629 (C

The World Buskers Festival

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Dick & Jane Photo, Christchurch, New Zealand
Quote:
As I walked through Christchurch's abandoned streets on a chilly, stony gray night in late January, the multiple signs outside shops & cafes emblazoned with "Welcome buskers!" or "Busking Special" baffled me. I had no idea that buskers were such a huge market for cafe-style snacks or tourist wares and couldn't figure out why they'd been singled out over any other random group in the city. Then, as I wandered past Victoria Square, all of my questions were answered with just one sign: a banner that said "World Buskers Festival, January 2008."Unknowingly, I'd stumbled off of the plane and into the city in the middle of the largest buskers festival in the world. The festival buys plane tic...Read More